The famous Red Prawn (Ang Heh) durian at Balik Pulau, Penang

red prawn durian

This should be called The Hunt for Red October Prawn. Red Prawn or Udang Merah is known locally in Hokkien as “Ang Heh” – it’s a breed of durian only available in Penang – there’s too much local demand (and exports to countries like Singapore I imagine) for it to come down to Klang Valley.

Thus, after 4 meals before 12 pm we finally drove to Balik Pulau (it’s where the orchards for Ang Heh are) where I ran down to stall after stall only to be told the same thing:

There are no Red Prawn durians. The season just ended.

One stall sold his *very last* Red Prawn durian to a customer just before we came.

balik pulau durian stall

I had almost given up at this point when the next stall claimed to have Red Prawn. In fact, there were 4 of these luscious durians.

red prawn penang

Red Prawn is characterized by it’s red colored flesh and small seeds. It’s not bright red like the Sarawakian local ones, although some can have an orange hue, with just a tinge of red, or striped. I paid RM 45 for one durian – it’s RM 25/kg after a bit of bargaining.

ang heh durian

The durian only had 5 seeds!!!

red prawn

That works out to about RM 10 per seed. It was delicious though, definitely worth it for durian lovers. :)

Suanie got another one to take away, this has more seeds and it’s heavier, cost RM 50. There’s also various other Penang-only durians on offer – you can listen to the proprietor talking about it.

Koh Tsu Koon durian

Koh Tsu Koon is also another famous durian strain but I couldn’t afford to part with another RM 50 for a tiny durian, despite it being famed for having miniscule or no seeds at all, which is a running joke about the ex-Penang CM.

udang merah

All in all, it was a good durian hunt – I got to eat Red Prawn and even though it wasn’t as red as what I tasted on a previous excursion, it’s good. It tastes like Red Prawn.

durian udang merah

Sarawak also has a bright red colored durian (as does Penang, which has several). Red Prawn is pretty good, and at that price point, a bargain compared to overrated durian strains like Musang King.

eating red prawn durian

We sapu-ed two out of the four Red Prawn durians left – it was the end of season for that strain, D15 is still going strong though. :)

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25 thoughts on “The famous Red Prawn (Ang Heh) durian at Balik Pulau, Penang

    • Red Prawn is only slightly bitter – and I mean *very* slightly, I couldn’t taste the “bitterness” at all. :)

      I tend to grade durians on the simple Sweet or Bitter, Dry or Wet variables.

      This one is 90% sweet, 60% wet. I know these are totally arbritary figured. Heh.

      I can best describe Red Prawn as creamy (no fibers, unlike the dry ones) and sweet with just a tinge of bitterness. The flesh is generous and the seeds are small. :D

    • Well, then Red Prawn wouldn’t be such a good strain for you – it’s not really bitter and the flesh is very soft (no fibers). It doesn’t exactly fall off the seed like some other softer durians but it’s not of the firm flesh variant.

      It’s quite aromatic though, you can smell the wonderful Red Prawn when it’s cracked open.

      I’ll suggest D24 (Sultan) for your list of criteria. It’s not native to Penang, unlike Red Prawn and Holo, but it’s available there. :D

  1. Poor thing! That ex-CM. Insult to injury, don’t lah hit a poor man when he’s already down…

    So many different varieties there – all very nice…but after a while, it seems the true durian lovers would yearn for the authentic durian that comes from the wild – mushy, a bit bitter…smells a little bit fermented, can’t beat that, they say. I wouldn’t know – not a fan of durian…only durian desserts.

    • He’s not down, he’s currently the president of Gerakan, unless I’ve been backwards with the news. :x

      I’m a staunch supporter of the Opposition, just for the sake of getting a bipartisan system like the US – two equally experienced parties.

      It is funny in a way, naming a durian after him. :)

      Yeah, these are all cultivated durians, cultivars or clones or mated strains. I like a good wild durian too – it’s always a mystery what it’ll provide.

      Especially the ones from very old trees – those can beat all these strains hands down sometimes. :D

    • Hmm…there are several types of mini durians. :)

      A lot of them are smaller than a mini watermelon. The Koh Tsu Koon strain is about that size, so are many others.

      The size depends on a lot of factors – the strain, the age, the orchard etc. :D

    • You can always go to Penang the next time Red Prawn season comes by! :)

      Or…you can order it online too, through Singapore, but that’s expensive and it’s not as fresh as getting one opened in front of you.

  2. I’m not particularly well versed with durian strains so I didn’t know there was a Koh Tsu Koon strain. Reading the description almost made me fell off my chair. LOL

    • Haha! It is funny in a way. You should listen to the durian seller explain it. :)

      He was going on about how Koh Tsu Koon durians has no balls (“bo ji” in Hokkien, which can mean seed or balls, wordplay here) and another durian named after the current one has big balls/seeds. :D

    • Oh well, it’s not for everyone, I know people who abhors durian too! :D

      I love it though, can’t get enough of durians. It’s awesome!

    • Yeah, it’s really good! I would love to try the Koh Tsu Koon durian too as it’s only available in Penang. :)

      I didn’t know you wanted some, sorry, would have tapau for you if you buzzed me.

      It’ll go well with a whisky tasting session I’m sure. :D

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